Market Recipe: Carrot Top Pesto

Carrot Top Pesto

Just about everyone who has come to our market in the past month has left with a bag full of carrots. Whether they are purple or orange, big or small, chances are they probably don’t even last through the weekend. There are so many ways to eat carrots: cooked or raw, with dinner or as a midday snack. However, it is those green, leafy carrot tops that are always cut off and thrown out without a second thought. This easy carrot top pesto recipe will ensure not a single bite of those fresh carrots go to waste.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup pepitas

1 garlic clove

1 & 1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrot tops

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Directions:

Wash carrot tops well and set aside to dry. Add pepitas and garlic to a food processor and pulse, scraping off sides as needed. Begin to add carrot tops and pulse again until desired texture is reached. Lastly, add lemon juice and parmesan to the food processor while blade is running. Drizzle olive oil onto the sauce and enjoy.

Why Shop Local?

Whether leaving the market with a bag packed full of fresh produce or just a single loaf of bread, you are making more than just your stomach happy.  Shopping local has more benefits than you could count on two hands, but we have narrowed it down to just a few of the reasons you should support small business

  1. It’s Economical: Shopping local puts three times as much money in your local economy.
  2. It Fosters A Sense of Community: Local businesses are run by community members, for community members.
  3. It Creates Jobs: Contributing to a local business helps create high quality, unique jobs for members of your community.
  4. It’s Farm to Table Fresh: Getting your fresh produce through a local farmer allows you to get the fruits and vegetables at their peak freshness because they did not have to travel hundreds of miles to get to you.

Did you know our market has over 75 local vendors every week? Visiting every Saturday and shopping with these small businesses is not only fun, but has an impact in more ways than one. If you are interested in more ways to help our local businesses, watch the video above or become a Localist. See you Saturday!

Mayas Certified Organic Farm

The Community Exchange Table

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Customers can always count on the vendors at the Community Exchange Table to greet them with a warm welcome every Saturday. CET has remained a constant booth at our market since 2009,  but what they bring on Saturday’s is constantly changing. Market shoppers are often drawn to the booth to grab anything from a bag of fresh basil to a colorful bouquet of flowers. What customers often don’t know, however, is the positive impact they just had on a small grower or artisan. In 2009, Chip Satterlund organized this cooperative market booth in order to create a space for startup vendors to sell their goods and produce on an as-needed basis.

The Community Exchange Table is a co-op that allows for small growers, bakers, and artisans to sell their surplus produce or goods to the community. This booth is the most unique at the market due to the diversity of the vendors who set up shop here. The benefit of this table for those vendors is that they do not pay any monthly fees, purchase equipment, or make any large investment when coming to the market. For a start-up gardener or an abundant grower, these fees often add up and can become a financial burden. The CET table covers these expenses to allow these small farmers to sell their products while relieving the stress of finding the funds. With three tents and eight tables full of different items, you definitely won’t get away empty handed.

With over 50 vendors participating in Community Exchange, the table has expanded to eight markets every week. If you are interested in selling something at their table, becoming a vendor, or just have a question, visit their Facebook page or contact Chip at chipsatt@cox.net. See you Saturday!

 

A Taste of the Market

Double Up at the Market

Gather around SNAP recipients, you are not going to want to miss this.

A few months ago at the market we introduced Double Up Food Bucks, a federal program that allows a dollar-for-dollar match at participating farmers markets (up to ten dollars per week). Anyone utilizing SNAP benefits is eligible to receive twice as much healthy, Arizona grown produce through DUFB. Not only does this directly benefit food stamp recipients, but local farmers receive more customers, and the food dollars go back in to our local economy. Call it a win-win-win.

The process is simple. Shop with your EBT card at our market on Saturday’s and pay for your items at the Information Booth. In return, we will match however much you spend by giving you up to 10 tokens to use on fresh fruits and vegetables at the market. Use the tokens the same day or come back and use them next time; they don’t expire.

Have any further questions about this program? Come see us at the Information Booth where our volunteers can help you get started.  DUFB started in Michigan just five years ago and since then has benefited over 300,000 low income families and 1,000 local farmers. Help the program stick around by getting involved.

What’s In Season: Winter

Pick up the latest Edible Phoenix at the Market every Saturday!  Check out What’s In Season, find delicious recipes and read about food culture in Phoenix.  Plan your weekly shopping lists and menus around these delicious crops.

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Sustainability at the Market: Abby Lee Farms

Producing over 35,000 pounds a week, it is no wonder Abby Lee Farms is famous for their delicious tomatoes. Their products can be found at ten farmers markets around the valley and in almost every premium grocery store. However, most people are unaware of the growing techniques and sustainability initiatives the farmers at Abby Lee take part in.

Abby Lee Farms is a hydroponic grower. This means that rather than growing their produce outside in the soil, they instead monitor them in a controlled greenhouse environment. By doing this, they are able to reuse almost all of the water instead of it absorbing in the soil. Nutrients are sent to the plants several times a day using a specialized drip system.  Another sustainable technique they use is controlling the climate in their greenhouse. This ensures that they keep the ideal humidity and temperature needed for the tomatoes to grow.

The tomatoes produced at Abby Lee farms are shipped out to consumers the same day they are picked, which is why they call themselves “hyperlocal.” The tomatoes are picked at peak harvest times at the height of their ripeness. This is nearly three weeks later than other commercial growers. Unlike most of modern day produce, Abby Lee’s products are not shipped across the country. They stay local from the time they are picked to the time they are purchased. Is your mouth watering yet? Come by the market this Saturday to get your hands on these delicious tomatoes.

-Sydney Schutkowski, Sustainability Intern

Free Workshop: An Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping

dd34959bfac4279b0f1ad800a9df2515-copyThis weekend.. Join us for a FREE Workshop startng at 9am.  An Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping:  Intended for those who are new to beekeeping, this class will go over the basic requirements to start your own backyard hive.  We will go over local rules and regulations, initial cost and setup, safety measures, and basic maintenance.

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Sustainability at the Market: Maya’s Farm

mayas-farmDid you know that by 2050, the world will need to feed two billion more people than it does today? With the increasing concern over climate change, natural resource scarcity, world hunger, and shrinking biodiversity, it is crucial that farmers adapt sustainable agriculture practices. Sustainable agriculture may seem like a difficult concept to grasp at first glance but  the idea behind it is relatively simple. Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. Therefore, sustainable farming aims to use mindful farming techniques that do not disrupt the environment.

Last Saturday at the market, I had the opportunity to talk with Maya Dailey about what environmentally friendly strategies she uses at her farm, Maya’s Farm. Her farm is located on an ancient riverbed near South Mountain Park right here in Phoenix. Because the crops sit on naturally sandy soil and are located near Artesian wells, Maya’s Farm is in the prefect environment to foster a sustainable farm system. She uses just the amount of water needed to produce naturally crisp and delicious crops and uses a drip tape irrigation system to ensure no water goes unused. This system delivers water straight the the base of the plant and forfeits the traditional sprinkler system.

 Maya’s Farm produces only certified organic crops. This means her crops contain no toxic pesticides, dyes, or chemical fertilizers. As a result, the farm fosters biodiversity and the preservation of natural resources. To minimize her carbon footprint, Maya implements recycling and composting techniques to create a zero-waste environment. In addition, her small independent farm uses no large scale machinery. This not only significantly minimizes pollution, but also prevents the concept of an assembly line approach to farming. With no mass production, each crop is carefully looked after from the time the seed is planted to the moment it is purchased.

Knowing the measures Maya takes to ensure the environmental preservation of her farm makes me proud to purchase her produce. Remember to support all of the local, sustainable farmers every Saturday at the market.

-Sydney Schutkowski, Sustainability Intern